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How to Achieve Clarity and Success by Thinking like a Designer

As a young entrepreneur, I believed that engagement was about efficiency and not the emotional involvement of each interaction.

I couldn’t build my vision, so I told as many people about it as possible.

This approach made sense at the time. I thought that I would be judged for hacking together design and coding solutions, and I told myself that my lack of “hard-skills” would limit my ability to be successful.

For this piece, I had the opportunity to speak with Guy Kawasaki, former Chief Evangelist of Apple Computers and current Chief Evangelist of the design platform, Canva.

I asked him what he would tell a young entrepreneur who is trying to kickstart a project, but felt they lacked the necessary hard skills to compete in a competitive market.

His answer was simple, “Build what you want to use. Don’t build what you think the market wants or needs. Build for yourself and then hope you’re not the only person in the world who wants it.”

Start building and quit thinking there is a certain way of getting things done.

It’s in those moments where you are forced to think differently that you learn the most about yourself.

The proliferation of such companies as Uber, Dropbox, Netflix, and AirBNB has opened the world to all of us as designers

The story of these disruptors breaks the adage that designers are artists – but instead those who can take a concept from a spark to a proposal.

Be fearless as you enter your new role.

For some, this may be as simple as a mindset shift, but for others, it will be challenging to enter the realm of paranoia and vulnerability.

Complacency will always be there to remind you how easy it is easy to say “I will someday.”

Think of the countless number of problems that you have solved in your daily life and the creative proposals that addressed each problem.

You have already had the tools of a designer, and you’re ready to channel these into your projects and ventures.

I challenge you to start your sprint today to turn that idea that’s been sitting in the back of your head into a step forward.

Build your vision for yourself and one day the world will be your audience.


Written by Sam Sawchuk

Sam Sawchuk is a passionate social entrepreneur who believes empathy can be our strongest tool in unlocking innovation in business and in life. Sam works with people, companies, and brands to develop strategic initiatives that empower disenfranchised segments of the population and inspire social change. He does this through speaking and coaching, as well as leading his own organizations, Sandwich for a Story and Brandschools. Sam’s work has been featured at TEDx, the Clinton Global Initiative University, the United Nations, as well as numerous other media outlets. He has held various roles in startup communities across North America including Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver and San Francisco with a focus on getting students involved in entrepreneurship. A passionate believer in the power of technology to connect and inspire, Sam has worked at a variety of innovative companies in the technology industry including Uber, Hired and Ayogo Health.

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